Ear and Eye Infections Treatment Questions and Answers
If you or someone you know has an ear infection, come to Lifetime Urgent Care today! We have a great team of kind and caring professionals in Flint, MI who have ample experience in treating ear infections. For more information, please call us or simply walk-in!
The eyes and ears are incredibly vital organs that provide the body with two of its most important functions: vision and hearing. Although these organs are essential to life, they are also quite sensitive and are often subjected to harmful pathogens. The body has numerous built-in safeguards that help protect the body and keep it clean, however, resilient germs can still work their way past these defenses and cause infection. Ear infections are very common and often repeatedly affect the same people. They cause symptoms like pain, pressure inside the head and even distorted auditory perceptions. Eye infections may be itchy, painful, produce discharge, and blur vision. Some eye and ear infections can be treated with antibiotics; however, these would not be effective for viral infections.
Can ear infections affect your eyes?
The eyes and ears are in close vicinity to one another, but does that mean an infection in one can affect the other? Sometimes, yes, it can happen. The ears are connected to the nose and throat via the eustachian tubes, along which viruses and bacteria can travel to spread the infection. This can cause an ear infection to affect the throat, and vice versa, and can happen quite easily. However, an ear infection affecting the eyes is less likely but may occur if discharge comes into contact. On the flip side, a bacterial eye infection can produce a lot of discharge (pus), which can enter the ear canal and cause an infection there.
What causes eye infection?
Eye infections are commonly caused by bacteria and viruses, however they may also be caused by parasites or fungi. Allergies can also cause eye infections. Viruses are the most common cause of an eye infection and normally manifest on the inside of the eyelid or the surface of the eye.
Common types of eye infections include:
Pinkeye (Conjunctivitis) — An infection of the conjunctiva (aptly named conjunctivitis), gets its common name, pinkeye, from its prevalent symptom of a pink color on the whites of the eye. It is most commonly caused by a bacteria or virus (which is contagious), although it can also occur from an allergic reaction or irritants (non-contagious).
Keratitis — Inflammation of the cornea caused by bacteria, viruses, or parasites in water, keratitis is a common problem for people who wear contact lenses.
Stye — Styes are painful red bumps that appear under the eyelid or at the base of the eyelashes. They are caused when the oil glands in eyelids or eyelashes get infected with bacteria. These are similar to a pimple, and cannot be spread from person to person.
Fungal Eye Infections — While it is rare to get an infection from a fungus, they can be serious if they do occur. Especially if an eye was scraped by a plant, stick or thorn, many fungal eye infections happen after an eye injury. They can also occur in people who wear eye contacts but do not clean them properly.
Uveitis — The uvea is the middle layer of the eye, and when it becomes inflamed or infected, it is known as uveitis. It is commonly linked to autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, although it can be caused by certain viruses like herpes.
How long do eye infections last?
Eye infections typically clear up in one to two weeks without treatment and without any long-term consequences. However, in some cases, viral eye infections can take more than 3 weeks to clear up. To treat more serious forms of conjunctivitis, a doctor can prescribe antiviral medication. Medical treatment almost always improves recovery times and decreases the duration of infectiousness. Signs a person is still contagious include:
- Discharge from the eyes
- Crusty eyelashes and lids
- Swelling around the eyes
- Burning sensation
- Tearing up
- Red or pink in the whites of eyes
- Irritation of the eyes
What causes ear infections in adults?
In adults, ear infections are typically caused by viruses, bacteria, fungi, or parasites. Different infections are spread in varying ways, and can include direct contact with the infection, or secondary contact (such as sharing a drink, food or makeup). People may be more prone to ear infections if they have a weakened immune system or inflammation in the structures of the ear.
If you have an eye or ear infection, come to Lifetime Urgent Care to ameliorate your symptoms. At Lifetime Urgent Care, we believe that you do not have to cope with painful or uncomfortable symptoms, and we will work studiously to find the best form of relief for your unique situation. Call us today at (810) 339-8261 to book an appointment, or visit our clinic conveniently located at 2469 W. Hill Rd, Flint, MI 48507. Our office is open seven days a week: Monday to Friday from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM, and Saturday & Sunday from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM. We serve patients from Flint MI, Rankin MI, Grand Blanc MI, Genesee County MI, Burton MI, Swartz Creek MI, Gaines MI, Fenton MI, Holly MI, Linden MI, and Atlas MI. Looking forward to serve you!